Do you like Italian cuisine? Although we can’t imagine eating (authentic) Italian dishes everyday, we always end up choosing Italian restaurant for any kind of celebration. Last week, we went to this highly-rated Italian eatery and bar called Pesto Autentico, which is located in UOB Plaza building in Thamrin area, Central Jakarta.
The restaurant is easily accessible from ACE Square front lobby, just take a level up by escalator beside Starbucks, and Pesto Autentico will be the first thing you’ll see. You can also take the way from UOB Plaza lobby but it will take a while to get there because the building is huge and too many connected areas inside.
The restaurant is quite big and very spacious, with a warm ambiance that is definitely perfect for intimate occasion. No, we were not here for romantic dinner or anything, it was more like a celebration after finishing a task. Well, it’s not like anyone wants to know, right? XD
It was a Tuesday evening and the restaurant was literally empty, with only less than 5 tables occupied. We were glad though, because we sensed a great privacy and it doesn’t happen often with any Italian restaurants we frequently visit.
What’s an “authentic” Italian restaurant without a native Italian chef? Worry not, the helm of the kitchen here is an Italian, Chef Fausto La Fata, who has 20 years of culinary expertise under his belt. Honestly, upon finding out about this fact, our expectation about Pesto Autentico went higher.
Like typical authentic Italian restaurants in Jakarta, they served a basket of complimentary bread when our orders were being prepared. I really appreciate the generosity, with a plenty of bread to munch on, we didn’t mind waiting for sure. The breads were fresh, served with butter, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, the Italian way. Psst, you can also ask for more if a basket is not enough.
Zuppa Di Zucca IDR 45,000
This pumpkin soup was automatically put in our order list the moment I saw that on the menu. I can never resist a warm bowl of pumpkin soup, and according to the waiter, this is one of the recommended soup from Pesto. The soup was presented beautifully with some croutons but the taste was just alright. I love my pumpkin soup to be a little thicker in consistency, but this one was quite runny. Perhaps adding some more garlic can help enhancing the flavor.
Tagliatelle Al Granchio IDR 165,000
Homemade black pasta with crab and cream sauce.
Again, beautiful presentation with good deal of portion. Probably can be shared among 2-4 person, depends on what you order beside this. I actually loved the texture of the pasta, perfectly al dente with definite firmness and chewiness, not mentioning the exotic black color. Crab parts were fresh and neatly served, although seasoning was questionable here. Don’t get me wrong, the sauce and everything looked so appetizing but it seriously lacked of flavor and we ended up adding chili flakes, grated Parmesan cheese, and whatever else we could find that time to get the better taste of the dish. It was not a pleasant thing for us to “destroy” such a dish, but we did what we had to do.
Quattro Formaggi Pizza IDR 95,000
Using 4 Italian cheeses: Parmesan, Mozzarella, Fontina, and Pecorino Romano; this pizza is definitely hard to miss. Screamed happily in my heart when I saw how big it is. XD The pizza actually didn’t look that fresh, and despite all the cheeses used, we barely noticed any cheesy sensation like we normally see from 4-cheeses pizzas. To my horror, the pizza was thin, dry, and absolutely tasteless.
Ravioli Anatra Con Erbette Italiane IDR 95,000
Homemade spinach, duck, and parmesan cheese ravioli served in Italian mixed herbs and butter sauce.
Having heard so many good reviews about their ravioli dishes, we decided to try one, and our pick went to this. The ravioli were fat and fully stuffed, although I considered them overcooked and too soft, the sauce was pretty decent.
Slow Oven Roasted Pork Knuckle IDR 380,000
As this menu is for sharing, it came in relatively large portion. Despite the looks, the skin wasn’t crispy at all, but we didn’t mind it because it was SOOO GOOD!!
The brown sauce gave a nice sweetness to the savory knuckle and the additional two sauces, probably mustard and maple, really helped giving the best flavors of the dish.
Oh yes, you can also ask them to help cutting the knuckle to smaller pieces, best eaten this way! Look at those thick meat and mouth-watering skins!
Lava Di Cioccolato IDR 75,000
For the dessert, we picked the classic chocolate lava cake served with vanilla ice cream. It was still piping hot when it was served, and boy, first lick and you won’t stop. Bitter sweet cocoa with the best texture, simply YUMMY!
San Pellegrino Sparkling IDR 60,000
Cranberry Juice IDR 30,000
In conclusion, it seems like Pesto Autentico’s dishes we tried that night are more into lighter taste and we were quite surprised considering our high expectation and the beautiful place. Food were not bad but lacking of identities, in term of flavors. I am thinking about going back there and trying other menu before I can actually write this conclusion further. However, I must say, for the price tags, the guests deserve something more impressive.
*All prices are subject to 9% service charge & 10% government tax.
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
** This review is written based on our visit on 15 March 2016.
UOB Plaza – Thamrin Nine Building, UG floor
Jl. M.H. Thamrin No. 10
Tel. +62 21 2993 7230
Sun-Thu 11AM – 10.30PM
Fri-Sat 11AM – 11.30PM